I saw this in the paper a little while ago while it sat on the table in our lunch room at work, and have been meaning to bring it up ever since.
We’ve known for a while – OK, for a good long time now – that we are lucky to be in St. Louis with Danny. Since we’ve chosen an oral route for our family, it really is the place to be. We’ve got 3 solid oral-deaf schools, which do everything from help teach masters students training to work with deaf children to hold workshops in the summer that parents and families travel miles for.
The news story I saw was that one of the schools is reaching out to families outside of St. Louis once again, in a modern way. For years, the schools here offered residence programs that families away from St. Louis could send their children to, but as oral deaf schools start to pop up in other locations and resources become more readily available for parents of deaf children with hearing aids or cochlear implants, those programs have suffered and pretty much been put to an end.
Now, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf has begun offering online therapy sessions, a first in the country. This opens up the boundaries so much for people with no local oral school to still get the guidance and therapy needed to help their kids succeed, without displacing families. St. Joe’s has put in all sorts of money to ensure they’ve got the technology and the secure connection, so sessions can’t be eavesdropped on, and they’re also reaching out to rural communities in the state to work with their school districts.
I love to see this kind of stuff. This technology is amazing, but I know first hand how much else is needed. It isn’t just a case of getting a child a cochlear implant and then – BAM! – they are talking. It takes a lot of time, work, and therapy. I think this new way of reaching out is awesome, and hope to see programs like this popping up all over!
It really is amazing the stuff they can do today.
This is great and being from the boondocks, definitely something we could benefit from.
I am guessing that it won’t be long before others start offering the same type of service.